Control of Thought, Includes Purifying the Subconscious
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2015-01-14
Mechanism for major change in the subconscious mind from an ordinary to a spiritual state. Vasana Daha Tantra to clear suppressed memories. Be observant of what's going on inside. Devotion helps us to have the humility to admit our mistakes, to know at our essence we are a divine being. Refining, purifying the subconscious mind. Changing, restraining the nature of the samskaras.
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Cognizantability
Master Course, Living with Siva, Lesson 149
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
Good morning everyone.
Starting out with "The Sixth Aphorism" from Gurudeva's "Cognizantability."
"The subconscious of the conscious mind is but a reflection of the subconscious of the superconscious mind."
We all knew that right? Fortunately Gurudeva explains what he means.
"We have studied the conscious mind and its relation to the other states of mind and have found that it is only one-tenth of the mind. It has not the power to act on its own for any length of time without being carried on by its own novelty through ramification. The subconscious of the conscious mind is the storehouse for the conscious mind. All the happenings of each day and all reactions are stored up there. It is only a reflection of the sub superconscious, for when all the repressions are released, the sub superconscious takes over the subconscious mind. For, though the power of understanding generated by the superconscious through the subconscious, the subconscious is dissolved, and the true, intuitive, all-knowing, superconscious self returns to its rightful position in the picture of the mind. All the confusion of the subconscious clears, and the ego looks as naturally within as without, simultaneously. "
Gurudeva's describing a major change in the subconscious mind here that takes place from just an ordinary state to a spiritual state. And it gets rid of a number of things, including reactions, which tend to turn into suppressions and repressions. It's a very interesting mechanism; we've talked about it before. But when something goes wrong and we don't do exactly what we know we should have, we upset other people, we'll remember that for a few days. The subconscious mind keeps reminding us: This happened, this happened; please fix it, please fix it. And it's encouraging us to resolve things by reminding us that they happened. It's a very interesting phenomenon.
But if we ignore it, what happens? Does it go on forever? No, it'll stop at a certain point. The subconscious will say: Okay I tried. Clearly you don't want to resolve it so I will suppress you. I will stop reminding you that this happened. I will suppress this memory. But, did you resolve it. No! There's a reaction there; there's an emotional component that you're suppressing. So, you're suppressing emotion, you're suppressing reaction. You suppress enough emotion you can imagine it gets pretty congested down there. So therefore, we need to un-congest it.
There are things that happened recently that we still remember, we can stop them from getting suppressed in the first place. Apologizing to the other person, making a gift, doing something to settle it before it gets suppressed. If we suppress it then we can use journaling which Gurudeva calls the Vasana Daha Tantra. It's called journalling in modern terminology. Clearing past memories. Well, we have to look for them cause we suppressed them. When we start writing down the past they won't pop up immediately. We have to kind of encourage them to come out. Write down events where we didn't suppress anything and then all of a sudden we'll remember one that has some emotion in it.
As Gurudeva says: We're not getting rid of the memory, we're getting rid of the emotional component of it. We're not trying to forget what happened, we're trying to take the emotion out of what happened. Then it's just neutral. It's similar to having a color. Let's say it has reddish-gray color to it. We take that color out and it just turns into black and white. It's just a neutral event that we can remember.
There's a related statement in Living with Siva, Lesson149.
"Every experience, no matter how difficult or embarrassing, is a good experience, provided the lesson to be learned from it is learned from it."
In other words it wouldn't have happened unless there was something to be learned from it. No matter how silly it seems, there's something there we didn't know. And therefore, it happened. We have to learn from it. If we can find that component and learn from it then it's a valuable experience. If we don't then it'll come around again, obviously. That doesn't seem very efficient, right? It happens, we don't bother to learn from it. It happens again, we don't bother to learn from it. It happens again, we don't bother to learn from it. We're not making progress.
So, therefore, we need to pay attention. What lesson do I need to learn so this doesn't keep happening?
"Experiences that are unresolved and repressed can be very burdensome for the individual."
That's what we were talking about before. Because they're unresolved eventually they'll be suppressed and even repressed.
"Living Saiva Dharma makes us our own psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor and problem-solver. This is because one slowly becomes the watcher of his mind thinking, the watcher of his emotions feeling, acting and reacting."
The point there being we have to be observant of what's going on inside of us. One of the keys to being observant is to be humble. If we're not humble we'll deny it's happening cause how could we be imperfect. We have to have humility to admit our mistakes. So that's one of the reasons devotion is so important. Devotion helps us to be humble and also the idea that at our essence we are a divine being. Helps us be humble cause you realize the inside is perfect. So, therefore, we don't have a need to defend the outside because there's more to us than the outside. The outside is always going to be imperfect one way or another. But, the inside is always perfect. Just having that perspective allows us to admit the shortcomings in the outside more readily to ourselves.
As you know, I've been studying Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and working on some presentations of comparing them to Gurudeva's teachings. And this was an interesting one I thought of. That's why I chose the Cognizantability Affirmation. So we're transforming the subconscious mind from an ordinary state into a spiritual state. Through resolving, through upgrading our behavior, through spiritual practices it transforms it, makes it pure. And also changes the vibration of it into something more refined.
Patanjali calls the subconscious mind samskaras which is of course is the content of the subconscious mind. Samskaras, we know just means impression and so the memories, as Gurudeva says here:
"...The subconscious of the conscious mind is the storehouse for the conscious mind. All the happenings of each day and all reactions are stored up there..."
Well those are called samskaras. The subconscious mind is also called samskara chitta, right? It's where all the samskaras are. And samskaras are what happened plus our emotional reaction to it. It's our impression of what happened plus our emotional reaction to it. It's not exactly the memory cause it has an emotional component, a judgmental component. So, it's what happened plus all our thoughts and feelings associated with what happened that got stored at the same time. So those are the samskaras.
So he has, starts by saying: "The externalizing samskaras are subjugated by employing restraint which in turn manifests new samskaras. This is called nirodha parinama, restraint transformation, which occurs whenever restraint is employed."
So here he's focusing on the idea of controlling the thinking mind. Whenever we control the mind, we're putting a new type of samskara into the subconscious. We're refining it. Same idea as Gurudeva said. So we're changing the content of the subconscious mind or we're changing the nature of the samskaras. Replacing externalizing samskaras which is just memories before we take up spirituality, we keep thinking about the world. What's still in the subconscious mind makes you think about the world, thinking about doing more reactions. So we have to put something new in there. Spiritual samskaras! So he's focusing on: You can do that through restraining the thinking mind.
"A tranquil flow of consciousness is produced by these restraint-samskaras."
Well what I'm trying to focus on is when we think of yoga and think of controlling of the mind, think of Patanjali, we take that second verse: Yoga is a restraint of mental activity. We tend to think of just our thoughts, right? But both Gurudeva and Patanjali are pointing out: The subconscious has to be taken into account also. The subconscious, the contents of the subconscious or the nature of our samskaras influences how much we think and what we think about. Therefore, we have to realize that a major factor in controlling our thoughts is restraining the samskaras or purifying the subconscious mind.
So, thank you very much for listening. Have a great day.